Most travelers love Nepal for its trekking trails and mountain ranges such as Annapurna and Mount Everest. It’s why tourism within the small South Asian nation is always at its peak regardless of the season. But more recently, the country has also become a hotspot for luxury and concept hotels. From 100-year-old heritage palaces turned hotels to luxurious villas in the hills and resorts built over a lake — these properties have become a popular choice for celebrities and notable figures such as Selena Gomez, David Beckham, Hillary Clinton, and Jimmy Carter. However, they still remain a guarded secret hidden away from most travelers. So get off the hiking trails and give your next trip to Nepal a luxurious spin!
Here, we highlight some of the most unique magnificent resorts hotels across the country that will make your vacation unforgettable.
In the wake of the 2015 earthquake that devastated the country including several historical landmarks, Dwarika’s stands strong as a pillar of cultural heritage. The five-star hotel which dates back to the 1950s has had a long history of distinguished celebrity guests including singer Selena Gomez and former American president Jimmy Carter.
The hotel features some of the most exquisite woodwork that reflects the local culture and ancient windows that were originally incorporated into the design by the founder, Dwarika Das Shrestha.
The rooms all feature the original work and offer an enormous amount of space. The Royal Suite, for instance, takes its architectural inspiration from the private abodes of the Malla kings and is set magnificently over three floors and an area of 250 sq meters. With an open-air breakfast terrace attached to the spacious bedroom, the suite also has a separate living area and an entrance foyer. A wooden-floored deck overlooks a sumptuous lounge. On the private terrace, you can indulge in a splendid view of the hotel’s courtyard as well as the towering white peaks of the Himalayas.
One of the most enchanting aspects of the suite is its 50 sq meter bathroom, intricately designed with traditional architectural features.
The hotel also has three different restaurants and a bar each offering an exceptional dining experience.
The Krishnarpan, for example, is a Nepali specialty restaurant reminiscent of the ritual feasts enjoyed by the Kathmandu Valley’s Newari community.
For leisure, there’s a spa with authentic Nepali and Himalayan massages, a lavish pool, and a library alongside a yoga and fitness center.
To book your stay, go to Dwarika’s Kathmandu.
Gokarna Forest Resort
Kathmandu has a lot to offer in terms of tours and shopping, which can be an incredibly exhausting experience. If you want to get away from the busy streets of the city, there’s no place better than Gokarna Forest Resort.
Nestled in a deep forest full of exotic birds and wildlife, a short stay here is an exercise in relaxation. The resort is intentionally positioned in a remote environment that lets you cut off and focus on yourself.
As a certified Eco hotel, the property is situated on what was historically the private royal hunting ground of the erstwhile Kings of Nepal and offers everything from horse riding, to forest walks to bird watching and a large golf course.
While some rooms feature portraits reminiscent of classic Nepali culture, others provide breathtaking views of the jungle and the sprawling courtyard.
All guests have free access to the onsite sauna, jacuzzi, gymnasium, swimming pool and morning yoga.
The resort has three main restaurants and one bar. The Club House restaurant faces the large golf course, which is also a great place to spot wild monkeys.
To book your stay, visit Gokarna Forest Resort.
Located in one of the most vibrant areas of Kathmandu, Hotel Ambassador is a perfect stop for a business stay. The property enjoys close proximity to both the airport and the shopping areas.
In the old alleys of a historic city, Ambassador offers all the modern amenities.
“The hotel offers a diverse range of accommodations designed to suit the varying needs of our guest. Each room exudes a unique ambiance that is inspired by Kathmandu’s evolving identity, which revels in modernity while preserving its local heritage and tradition. The accommodations are fully equipped with all the modern amenities, offering guests the comforts they deserve,” the hotel states.
You can also enjoy an array of culinary delights if you want to spend a few relaxing days in the comfort of the hotel. Kotetsu, for instance, is a beautifully designed Japanese restaurant that serves freshly made and authentic Japanese delicacies.
There’s also a stylish atrium for a quick shopping trip or to pick up some souvenirs.
To book your stay, visit the Ambassador Hotel.
Nestled in the natural paradise of a lushly forested valley and set against the backdrop of the majestic Himalayan mountain range, The Pavilions Himalayas is a truly eco-sensitive luxury boutique resort.
Located in the unique setting of a working organic farm, the natural beauty of the setting reflects Nepal’s historic heritage as a center of spiritual practice and the resort’s tranquil environment is perfect for undistracted meditation.
Every guest gets their own private villa, which offers spectacular views of the Annapurna mountains and the forested hills.
The interiors showcase a classic Nepalese design in a rustic setting with modern comforts of home that includes a fireplace, a Jacuzzi, and your own personal iPod.
The hotel only features one restaurant, with a bar stacked next to a cozy fireplace. But a bulk of the produce used to prepare the food served is organic and grown onsite.
The poolside seating offers a breathtaking view of the hilltops and natural landscape. “Our Chefs craft farm-fresh produce into a symphony of dishes exploring the realms of Nepal’s rich cuisine culture and International favorites. The menu changes weekly based on the freshest ingredients available from the farm,” the website states.
To relax, there is a wellness center with daily yoga sessions, a sauna, and an “art spa.”
To make a reservation, visit Pavilions Himalayas.
Set across the iconic Fewa Lake, Fishtail Lodge is unique in both its location and legacy.
About a stone’s throw away from all the downtown action that features the best restaurants and bars in the city, the only way to access this picturesque property is through a short boat ride.
With the lake on one side and a forested hill on the other, the views are spectacular. It’s exceptional romantic setting also means the hotel is usually swarming with honeymooners and couples.
The resort continues to enjoy its inimitable status even amongst celebrities and royalty. Some of the most distinctive figures that frequent the property include former US President Jimmy Carter, HRH Prince of Wales, and the Crown Prince Narihito of Japan amongst others.
The cozy rooms come fitted with both air-conditioning and heating fully appointed with flat-screen cable TV, minibar, seating areas and wardrobe, and modern shower facilities.
Food-wise, you have the convenience of hopping on the boat and walking to a wide range of restaurants downtown or enjoy Nepali, Chinese and Indian and Western cuisines at the onsite restaurant overlooking the lake on one side and the lush forest on the other.
Drinks can also be enjoyed at the cozy bar, or you can even opt for the warmth of the fireplace located in the bar.
To book your stay, visit the Fishtail Lodge.
Sarang Wildlife Resort
The authentic Nepali cultural experience is incomplete without a short trip to Chitwan. This small city is surrounded by wildlife and is 35 minutes away from Pokhara and Kathmandu by air.
But since there is so much to explore in terms of nature and wildlife, it can be confusing. Sarang Wildlife Sanctuary offers a complete package and is designed to accommodate everything the city has to offer.
Guests stay in beautifully designed jungle lodges as the whole experience is meant to emulate true-to-life jungle living. Each cottage is designed in the manner of local Tharu village homes but with the comforts of modern amenities.
There are an array of activities the guests can enjoy from elephant rides to canoeing to jungle safaris and every so often you can spot rhinos, deer, exotic birds, and even tigers! You can also take a guided walk down the Tharu village to experience the local culture and lifestyle.
Sarang offers all-inclusive packages with a range of activities to please everyone in the family from the laid-back breakfast in bed enthusiast to the tiger seeking adventurer.
“Our operational concept is built on conservation, responsible tourism, and a commitment to local communities. We give employment preference to local villagers and have measures in place to conserve energy and resources consumed within our operations. Our resort is fully self-contained and we own our own on-site restaurant, elephants, boats, and off-road vehicles to ensure activities operate smoothly. We offer various all-inclusive packages which we are happy to customize to meet your needs,” the hotel notes on its website.
Guests can dine at the restaurant, which offers a delightful variety of both Nepali and international cuisines and you won’t want to miss the Samsara Bar where you can enjoy a variety of cocktails in a stunning jungle environment.
To book your stay, visit the Sarang Wildlife Sanctuary.
All images courtesy of the respective hotels.